Apr 24, 2011

Nomadic drawbacks

I am a nomad, and have been since I was a child, which is why when people ask where in California I'm from, I say "the North", and they think I'm being coy. I try to be more specific with "somewhat orbiting the Bay Area", and they think I'm nuts. Then I say I went to high school in the South, and suddenly, I'm "from the South". It's very difficult to explain to people that grew up in one to two locations, and then have a family home and a place to go, what it's like to kind of be from nowhere except a vague region.

Ultimately though, I sing the praises of being nomadic, and forwarded it to program directors when they were asking me why I suddenly wanted to move from NYC (my "town" of about two years, which is my average staying time) to their town. More often, they assumed I was going "back" to California, which is a safe enough I assumption, since I do love my home state, excepting that I have no family there so other than nostalgia, it doesn't really offer me any reason I'd choose one residency there over one at Other-Desirable-Location.

I've also 'lived' in a lot of places for somewhere between one and three months, which leads to the question "What is your definition of residence?" I had a flat in Prague for a month for a medical selective. Did I "live" there? My mom's a traveler, and the one I stay with when I'm between residences, but she's rarely in the same place for a long time, so if she doesn't "live" there, do I "live" there? It's confusing.

I bring this up because I'm filling out what is known among scientific communities as a metric s*** ton of paperwork. Among this are applications for my state medical license, a background check, medical paperwork, tax forms, and so forth. List residences for the last seven years? Gods. Where do I start? My dad's address is frequently listed as my permanent address, but I don't live there... My roommate's name is on the lease and mine isn't. I lived in a country for two years that doesn't so much have addresses as locations, so some poor investigator is going to have to try and figure out how to pull up paperwork for "In the Cool Runnings apartment building on the Dusty Highway". When I told people to send stuff there, they got upset and thought I was kidding. When I wasn't in Grenada, I was in and out of different states (or countries) for anywhere from two weeks to three months.

And it continues. I don't have an address for new town yet. I'm moving out of this apartment next week and crashing at my mom's place in Brooklyn until it's time to move... this results in my initial paperwork being sent to this address, my future licensing paperwork being sent to her address, and my tax forms being listed under my dad's address because that'll be more relevant after I start residency, and as mentioned, don't know where I'm living.

If all of this certification, licensing, tax paperwork goes through without a hitch, I'll eat an okra and canned tuna sandwich. If all that doesn't gum the gears, I'm sure Old Reliable, aka, my wonky last name, will seal the "you have to resend this with ___________" deal.

Apr 22, 2011

Please refer to me as Dr MD... btw, I'm a doctor...

Oh wait... but I said I was going to talk about other stuff.

Fair enough. I'm starting to feel so far removed from medicine (actually studying it, not rabbiting on about it) that it's kind of frightening.

Stuff I've done in the last few months:

Watched: Usual Suspects, Super Troopers, Run Lola Run, Requiem for a Dream, Lolita (Jeremy Irons version), Sweeney Todd, the Birdcage, the King's Speech, Gattaca, the first season of the Walking Dead, nearly all of Cowboy Bebop and I'm restarting the X-Files. All on the train. I'm thinking of writing a slow ballad dedicated to my iPhone called "I love you more than I've ever loved anything (club remix)".

I'm also just now realizing that my list of recently watched media is kind of disturbing fired off like that. King's Speech may be the sole source of "Not weird". I like Modern Family. That's normal, right? Why am I thinking about this?

Marched through Times Square in search of student rush tickets for Broadway shows fruitlessly. If someone can score me 30 dollar seats to Book of Mormon or American Idiot, I'll... seriously... don't ask. Walked past the Spiderman theater and snickered.

Eaten: Cuban, Mexican, Ethiopian, South Indian, North Indian, Indo-Caribbean, vegan kosher Indian (I have a problem).

Attended: Baby shower, comedy shows, burlesque, several birthdays, few music places.

Studied for Step 3.

You'd think I could crack a book somewhere between the first half of Kick-ass (couldn't do it; audio didn't sync and I still want to punch Nicolas Cage in the mouth any time he's onscreen) and episode 17 Inuyasha but nope. Hoping that instinct to learn *anything* kicks back in. I balk when someone tries to teach me any factoid at this point. "Hey, you know that movie was based on a true story about..." "NO LEARNING!!!!! MUST MAINTAIN IGNORANCE SPIRAL!!! MUST TYPE IN ALL CAPS!11!11!!omglol"

But the title... I got my residency contract today (woot!) which not only gives me a paperwork to-do list, but it's the first time (aside from my diploma, which rocks) that I've seen my for-real name with abbreviations and prefixes and such other than a few mistakes with the USMLE letters and a few interview invites.

And the best thing is that while I don't know if it's standard for contract language, because let's be honest, none of us have read a contract since you were able to click the "I Agree" button on your computer in 1996, but it's written out insanely often. "Dr. Ishie, MD. Contract for one year of being a physician, a PGY-1, a doctor, at our hospital, which employs doctors, where she will be doctoring the doctor stethoscope white coat malpractice DEA license."

Incidentally, do I need a DEA license? I can't imagine a scenario where I could use it that wouldn't end with a ride in the back of a police car. I'm similarly curious about the ACLS training.

Apr 8, 2011

And this time, it's for real-for real

So, I'm a real M.D. now.

I'm getting excitement-overloaded, if such a thing exists. Black Monday, woot, Match Day, woot, last day of clinicals, woot, file closed out, woot, diploma date, woot. It's like if Mardi Gras were once a week. Going from "Congratulations!!" to "Congratulations? Right? Are you a doctor yet? No? Good god, how much paperwork can there be?"

April 8th? Diploma date. Which is good, because between March 25th (last day of clinicals) and now, I really didn't know what to call myself. Was I a student? Not really; I wasn't in school. Was I a doctor? Not really. Hadn't reached my graduation date. The graduation *walk* is in June, so that'll be another woot (though I'll get a few months rest in between), but that's so I can see if the third time's the charm for not tripping over a too-long gown in heels.

This may mean that over the course of the next few months, I may... possibly, be able to start talking about things other than school, the Match, patients, and so forth. It's like a whole new social realm has opened up to me. I can talk about... Futurama again, if the bastard ever shows a new frigging episode. Seriously, seen A Clockwork Origin like five times. I need a fix.

Then residency will start, and I'll be able to bore people in an even more specialized niche. Learning medicine with goats on your lawn could at least be conceivably interesting to people not doing it. Classifying seminomas? Oh, get ready friends and family... Come July, I'm going to take you to EPIC boredom. We're talking longing for filibuster boredom. Last half hour of 2001: A Space Odyssey boredom. Yes, I went there.

Seeing as that last remark probably pissed off a good half of you, I figured this would be a good time to beg for help again. Anyone know any tried and true method of purging a particularly insidious Google redirect virus without using Combofix? The program won't run because there's some lurking AVG file haunting my computer despite my disabling it and then uninstalling the full app. TDSS Killer isn't touching it, Malwarebytes keeps helping me with the stuff it tries to download onto my computer when I space out and click a google link (I can remove Windows Security with my eyes closed by this point), but the redirect remains. And I didn't realize HOW MUCH I google random crap until I can't click on it anymore. I'm not above mucking with the registry. Just call me the latchHKey kid.

And users of better computers, have at me for not having a Macbook. I will keep my infection-ridden Dell computer duct taped together until July if it kills me. Which it may. Didn't some of these bad boys catch on fire?

Apr 6, 2011


This turned into rain cancellation.

Plus side, I have tickets to some future Yankees game, and I got to see the stadium, which was pretty cool. They were selling Cracker Jacks in the stand and everything. And who can turn down $11 Miller Lite? Don't answer the last one.

They played a ton of rain related music, which is good, because it turns out I like a lot of songs about rain. The Rain Song, by Led Zeppelin, No Rain, and a bunch of others whose names I don't remember right now.

So wah, first Yankees game a wash, but I'm going to get to one before I leave NYC. It's on the bucket list. Since I'm venturing into the Bronx now, I'm probably also going to try to squeeze in a trip to the zoo sometime now that they found the cobra.

Rain rain go away!!!

First Yankees game ever and it's threatening to rain us out??? Nooooooo!!!!!

Rock Fever Revenge

Maybe it's the disgusting weather, but I've been really getting sappily nolstalgic for Grenada this last couple of weeks. Maybe it's also because people are leaving the area, so it reminds me a lot of those last weeks of Grenada.

And I really did have fun my last year. That encompassed my Prague trip, late night swim trips to Grand Anse beach, wrestling in Morne Rouge. I've been going through my pictures and getting all smiley and such. Then I feel like I've really been lucky as a person to get to do all this stuff and come out of it, and then I feel a touch of guilt for being such a whiny little prat so much.

Stay tuned for whiny prathood! Next week!

In the interim, here's some pictures that made me feel all sweet and fluffy. I'll probably post more occasionally now that I actually have time to sort, and to make up for the fact that I haven't been posting pictures in forever. So Grenada...

And here's a little taste of Prague... This was the view down the street from the place we met for conferences and to meet up to go to the hospital.

If I could give some Monday morning quarterbacking to the people in the midst of this... I spent a lot of time miserable. Not all of it, by any remote bit, but too much. I focused on how much this that or the other thing was screwing me (as noted on my blog), how hot it was, how nasty the men could be, interrupted by childish bickering with people.

If you're on the island, take a deep breath every now and again and just look at it. Think about where you are and how few people get to do what you're doing.

Then go back to remembering how much you loathe learning cancer treatment drugs. (I'm realistic in my nostalgia). Enjoy!

Apr 5, 2011

Adjusting to life outside the hospital...

Wow, it's so bright out here in the light of day... no hospital; no digging my ID card out frantically as I race up the escalators with the 15 second window I've given myself, it's like... it's like a new world.

Either that, or this winter is ending, which is spectacular, because I was beginning to think that I was going to end up on The Road with Viggo Mortensen and he is way better at rocking the hobo beard than I am. Plus I'm worried I'd go cannibal too fast.

Oh to all of you happy clickers, thank you!!! You all are the best.

My future adopted city is sending me enough literature on it to make me think they're going to elect me mayor. I'm also getting a lot of correspondence from real estate agents who seem to be drastically more optimistic about my credit score than I am. I just need a car. Perhaps one I can live in.

I'm also in a car vs motorcycle debate with myself.

Car: Pro: It has a roof. Palmetto bugs can't fly into my face. I can take stuff home from the grocery store in it. Cons: Expensive. Gas sucks.
Motorcycle: Pros: 75 miles per frigging gallon! Are you kidding me??? Looks badass. Easy to park. Cons: No carrying capacity. Will probably smear me across the pavement like an oddly shaped butter knife.
Our runner up, Vespa: Pros: Hipster street cred. Seems safer even though there's no reason it objectively would be. Cons: Still expensive, can't take on freeway, more embarrassing death.
6 speed BMW wagon: Pros: have you been in this thing? It's like being in the space shuttle. And it keeps your butt warm. Cons: Selling both my kidneys wouldn't cover a down payment on this thing. Plus I'd need dialysis.

I'm feeling my NYC countdown more and more. There's so much stuff to do here that it's just reminding me of all the stuff I missed. Broadway show is on the list, though to be fair, I've tried that one, but can't score a ticket for under 70 bucks. Sigh. Groupons are directing me, so I'm getting a bit more bang for my buck, and my mom seems to have read my Christmas List from... forever, and got me a groupon to Evolution. This is a store filled with articulated rat skeletons and 5000 dollar dead peacocks. If there were a food court with a dosa guy and some Butter Lane cupcakes, it would just be called the Ishie Emporium.

Incidentally, some of those skeletons cost as much as my desired car (I'm actually thinking of seeing if I can score an Elantra. Thoughts?). How much does an attending make? I want something practical to shoot for, like a chimpanzee skeleton. The secret to success is setting realistic goals, so I think I'm improving.

Sometime, between working, geeking out over deceased fauna, and grouponing my way through Manhattan, I managed to attend my first baby shower. It probably says something about my friends that I was 30 before this milestone. It also highlighted how immature I am, because it's still strange that one of my friends is having a baby. That's like... something grownups do. I was going to pair my first baby shower with my first surfing excursion (bad Californian! Bad!) but couldn't squeeze my NYC pizza butt into the thick wetsuit, so I'm going to have to learn to surf out the Jersey Shore on another day.